Quick Bites: New Neighbors

What a month for restaurant relocations! Amrit Palace is moving into the old Shell’s Seafood. El Taxco is taking over the old Rondo’s spot on East 40. Fiore’s has moved next door into Giordano’s. Latinos Y Mas is back in its original but renovated location on Pine Avenue. Barbazon’s Sports Bar is moving into the old Roadhouse Grill location, which Latinos Y Mas just left. And Tommy’s Barbecue has purchased the now-closed Roger’s Barbecue.

When Roger’s Barbecue was established about 30 years ago on East 40 in Silver Springs, the eatery was merely a building with a few rooms. Robert Painter Sr. and his wife, Patricia, bought it a few years later. Their son, Bob, joined them another five years later, and the Painters added on to make the restaurant the size it is today. Just before harvesting pecky cypress from the bottom of the Ocklawaha River was banned, Robert and Patricia were able to obtain some, which you can now see on the exterior of the building.

“I think that pecky cypress is worth more than we sold the building for!” says Bob.

After losing his father early this year, Bob and his mom didn’t feel like things were the same. Before long, Tommy Phillips, owner of Tommy’s Country Market & Barbecue, was talking to the Painters, which has resulted in a “Coming Soon” sign. Painter thanks his patrons of many years, especially those in the forest, who have supported his family.

Amrit Palace has been on SR 200 since 1996. Most agree they outgrew their location years ago, and one of the owners, Satnam Singh, has finally heard their cries. Moving to the old Shell’s Seafood just up the road, the additional seating and parking will be a relief to most.

Never ventured into Indian dining? Neither had I until my friend suggested the Chicken Tikka Masala, chicken pieces in a sauce of cream, fresh tomato sauce, and spices. Add the Navratan Shahi Korma vegetable side, rice, and that oh-so-delicious Naan bread, and you will get hooked on Indian cuisine. Check out amritpalace.com.

Fiore’s Café on Pine Avenue has moved next door into Giordano’s. Almost tailor-made for Fiore’s, the atmosphere is a cross between Old World Italian and a wine cellar with its rock walls and heavy timber accents. In the evenings, the lights are dimmed for a romantic experience.

Owner Luis Luna from South Miami invites you to come and enjoy Italian dishes made from nothing but fresh ingredients. Enjoy beer or wine with your traditional Italian dish or pizza. The restaurant is opening for lunch soon. Call (352) 789-6980 or visit urbanspoon.com for more information and a faxed menu.

The owners of Silver City Stamp & Coin Co. on East 40 have been eyeing the Bennigan’s building since it closed. Larry Stone, David Stone, and Larry Chauncey did a lot of research and chose the chain Tilted Kilt to bring to the location due to its rising popularity since launching in 2003. It’s a modern American, Irish, Scottish, and English sports pub featuring servers in knee-high socks; short, plaid kilts; and tiny, white shirts. Oh, and the food is good, too! Look for it to open soon.

More on Latinos Y Mas in the next issue as well as Tommy’s Barbecue, Barbazon’s, the new pizza buffet Stevi B’s, and Mi Apa Latin Café in the old Fazoli’s location.

Nibbles: Looking for a fantastic deal for lunch or dinner? Contrary to some rumors around town, Café Havana is open and serving up one of the best deals around. On a sad note, after eight years The Veranda Gallery & Tea Room will close its doors on September 22. The shops, however, will remain open until merchandise is sold. Check out the great deals!

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